Complete coverage of Summerfest 2017, the festival’s 50th edition

Grim new statistics show 39 fentanyl deaths in Milwaukee so far in 2016

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Fentanyl

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office has released some grim new statistics related to heroin and fentanyl deaths.

In just the past two weeks, at least 20 people have died from heroin overdoses. FOX6 News is told, on average, one person dies from a heroin overdose every three days.

Another shocking statistic revealed by the medical examiner: there are 39 confirmed fentanyl deaths so far this year. For all of 2015, that number was 30.

According to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner, there are a total of 143 drug-related deaths in Milwaukee so far in 2016.

In 2015, that number was 255.

5 comments

  • MelissaK

    No sympathy for drug users. You made that choice and you live (or die) with the consequences. The more of these scum druggies who die the better off society is as most commit crimes to pay for the drugs. Oh well.

    • David R

      No sympathy for the ignorant. You made the choice to disregard all the commonly accepted science regarding substance abuse and mental health, you live (or die) with the consequences. The more of these scum chauvinists who die the better off society is as most would wish death on their fellow man for medical problems they find inconvenient.

      No high blood pressure pills, no more insulin, these people are a burden to society, let them die, guess they should have made better choices. In fact, lets close all medical facilities, and park the ambulances. Driving is a choice, if you make a mistake and crash, you deal with the consequences. I hope you can get out!

      I’m so glad that this opiate scourge hasn’t touched any of your loved ones. Your people must be so superior, after all, people in all walks of life suffer with this disease, what is your secret? Because the town I grew up in was devastated by heroin, and every single “scum druggie” you see on the street was somebody’s baby born in to this world with the same potential as anyone else. If you had even the slightest clue what you are talking about you’d realize that by the time an addiction becomes a physical dependency the user is no longer in control. Do you think those people want to live like that? Most of them don’t, because there is a lot of suffering in that lifestyle. Imagine hurting yourself over and over, and you want to stop, you lost everything, everyone has given up on you, you’re one of the strong ones, so you just stop. The next day you’re picked up shaking on the sidewalk in a puddle of vomit and diarrhea and since you have no insurance the hospital gives you three days in detox. They kick you out the door just as the worst is happening. So what do you do? Heroin addicts don’t talk about getting high, they talk about getting well. Take the worst flu you can imagine, flood your body with adrenaline, alternate hot/cold sweats, explosive diarrhea, stir in some preexisting mental illness, and put a pill in your hand that can cure it all for a few hours. Now hold on to that pill for a couple weeks until you start feeling better, because the real struggle hasn’t even began. Now you have to deal with the psychological addiction, ask any cigarette smoker how easy that is.

      A lot of people experiment with various things in their younger years, some of them will find ways to self medicate issues they may have. Maybe they start popping a couple vicodins here and there, should we just kill them then? Because after a few months of that maybe they find they can’t sleep, but the vicodin helps, or they took the pills to deal with anxiety and now they feel they can’t leave the house without it, maybe they even had pain and were legally prescribed these meds by a doctor. You still feel like you’re in control, you don’t realize it yet, but that anxiety, that insomnia, that’s your body screaming out for those drugs it’s become accustomed too. Sooner or later, you put two and two together, and that’s when you realize your dependent and by that point it is already too late.

      Think about that word, dependent. Opiates are not only an addiction, or a habit, they are a chemical dependency. Opiates make people feel good because they mimic your body’s endorphins, in fact the word endorphin mean “endogenous morphine”, every time you have a good feeling you are using your body’s own personal heroin supply. When you supplement that from an outside source your body starts compensating and cuts down on its own production. When you take away that outside source it’s almost impossible to feel good until your brain heals, a process that can take years.

      I’m from a beautiful small town in SE WI, not the kind of place where you would expect a roster of heroin deaths at my 10 year class reunion. I’ve lost several close friends to the drug, in fact we had another one commit suicide just yesterday due to his own struggles with the drug. Even more are in prison, and all of these kids are middle to upper middle class kids with every advantage and support system a child could have. It’s not just the bad kids, some of our brightest kids were snubbed out by this drug. It does not discriminate. I suffered myself, finally at age 29 have I been able to maintain over a year sobriety after battling since I was in my late teens. I’ve spent more than a year of my life behind bars, multiple stays in rehab, all consequences of my choice, yes. The party stopped before I even graduated high school, I would spend the next 10 years going to bed promising myself I would not use tomorrow, and every morning I woke up so sick, and by afternoon I couldn’t take it anymore. By the time addiction kicks in the, the good times are over. You don’t party and have a good time with friends as a heroin user. No, you sit alone and feel the suffering of withdrawal fade away as the drug takes effect, but the pleasure I knew a decade prior was gone, all that was left was the shame that I let myself and my loved ones down once again. Thank god I was surrounded by people with some basic empathy and compassion rather than someone as cold and callous as yourself. Thank god they picked up a book or two and learned a bit about biology and what substance abuse does to your free will. You quit heroin just as easily as you break out of prison, it’s near impossible, and those that make it only do with the help of those around them. Alone is a deadly word in addiction.

      My people suffered right along with me in my addiction, many of them even moreso because it’s a very hard thing to understand from the outside looking in. I’m just glad most people aren’t so bitter and hateful to think a life should be thrown away like garbage because a person lost their way. Because no matter how much pain they endured, I am still here with them, it is nothing compared to the grief suffered by the families and friends of those we lost. So think about that for a second before you spew ignorant garbage like this, for every single addict that dies there are hundred of people who suffer that death. Maybe you should go to the next funeral in your area for a victim of this disease and let all these people know they deserved it.

      • Julia Gulia

        David, beautifully written. The ignorant feel they are “holier than thou” when it comes to addiction, but sooner or later it will touch their lives and devestate them. People don’t understand that many Of these addicts started with a legit prescription of an opiate based pain reliever. Congrats on your sobriety and keep working on educating the ignorant.

      • Krash

        Thank you, David, for taking the time to write about this. I, too, have seen what happens to people who lose their way… luckily it prevented me from ever considering “experimenting” with opiates. I once had an awful backache and took 1/4 of my bf’s oxycodone he was prescribed post-surgery. Within 20 minutes, I melted into the couch and was on some wonderfully comfortable cloud. I decided it was WAY too powerful to give to people daily- except those dying, burned on all their body, or something really hitting 10/10 pain. Not sure if doctors fully realize what they are doing prescribing so much of this stuff. I’m a nurse that sees a lot of ordinary people getting accustomed to their opiates, and some doctors don’t put much effort into curtailing their requests for MOREphine… And while I have sympathy for the addict struggling/fighting to recover from their illness, it is quite hard for me to sympathize those who live in denial and abuse their families/friends/system for their fix. Breaking into your own grandparents house and pawning their valuables… it’s those without shame that are doing a lot of destruction to our communities.

        As far as BLAME goes, I think this was all a set up from the get-go.. During the “War on Terror”, we took over the poppy capital of the world, Afghanistan. Opiate pre-cursors were plentiful and cheap, and the makers of oxycontin, fentanyl, opana, etc are now VERY VERY RICH. They know that the 4-10% who get addicted will make up 90% of their profits. And look how rates have quadrupled over the past decade! If they would just legalize weed, a lot of people could party safely without losing their life in the end.

Comments are closed.